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"I do see the odd fin here and there, which does make you paddle a bit faster. It keeps it interesting"

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Colin Murray | 17:44 UK time, Friday, 6 July 2012

Of all our 114 living British Olympic gold medallists, there are only two who stand alone in their chosen sport - providing you count Track And Field as one - and both feature in Episode Eight of Colin Murray's Gold Run.

Gillian Sheen won fencing Gold in the individual foil in 1956, in the very same year that women were first allowed to compete in the event. It was also the first year the electronic system was introduced, as opposed to relying on each competitor’s honesty.

Her trip down under saw her compete in a fence-off with Olga Orban, a Romanian who had beaten Gillian in their group encounters leading up to their epic head-to-head. When she struck the winning blow, the Great British team captain ran across the piste, only to slip in emphatic fashion, much to the merriment of the masses looking on.

Gillian's achievement surprised the sporting world, and Sheen herself could not quite compute that she had achieved what so many other great fencers had not.

“That night, after I had been sleeping a while, I woke up thinking it was a dream. I reached out to the chair beside my bed and there was the medal. Relief! It was real,” she said.

What's remarkable is that Gillian would not be the only British fencing gold medallist had it not been for the honesty of Judy Guinness. She refused to accept two points in the 1932 individual foil final in Los Angeles, admitting to the referee that she had not made contact. She therefore left with silver.

''She is an amazing example of sportsmanship, said Gillian. ''I never knew her, but would love to have done.''

To find our other 'unique' golden Olympian, you only have to go back to the last Olympics in Beijing, when Tim Brabants became the only Briton to win the big one in either the sprint or slalom Kayak.

The paddling perfectionist will compete again in London this summer, as he attempts to add more metal to his collection of Olympic and World Gold, Silver and Bronze. If he fails it will not be through lack of commitment, as Brabants is fanatical about training.

''I miss it when I am not training,” she says. “After each Olympic cycle, when I go back to work I start to really miss those endorphins and the camaraderie with my coach and the other competitors.''

This time around, he has spent much of his time in Cape Town, South Africa, where training has proven to be a little more dangerous than it is for your average Olympian.

''We do go on the sea at Fish Hoek, and I do see the odd fin here and there, which does make you paddle a bit faster. It keeps it interesting!''

Both Gillian and Tim are in episode eight of Gold Run, as is Denise Lewis with the Philharmonic Orchestra, a trio of successful modern day sailors, our 1988 men’s hockey team, and the British rowing boat that began our golden Olympic era.

We wish Tim Brabants the best of luck heading into London 2012, and sincerely hope he survives that long to compete.

Colin Murray's Gold Run is on 5 live on Sundays at 11am. You can subscribe to Colin Murray's Gold Run Extra here. For updates and photos follow @BBCGoldRun on Twitte


  • Comment number 1.

    The most important F1 in our own country, and no F1 blog by Jennie.

  • Comment number 2.

    In other news, talkSPORT clinch the exclusive rights to the biggest domestic fight of the century, Haye vs Chisora, how can 5live let talkSPORT outfox them like this?

  • Comment number 3.

    Haven't you got the message yet Fed ? The cupboard for any kind of sporting rights is virtually bare due to the BBC's massive overspend and priority of giving presenters,directors,DG's and top management obscene and absurd contracts and salaries together with their gold plated pensions and expenses of course.Thats where the licence fee money has gone and why 5live can't now outbid TS for other events even if they wanted to. Blame mismanagement and the BBC gravy train.

  • Comment number 4.

    ...and why TalkSport are building 30 new studios in London whilst 5Live have two new ones in Salford nearly always empty

  • Comment number 5.

    talkSPORT are building new studios because they have won the rights to air live Premier League commentaries outside Europe from August, as for Blinkies point on Cupboard being bare, i think there will be a few minor rights being lost, such as the Chisora fight, but on the whole i expect 5live to keep levels as there are now, intresting to note since the review by the Trust in terms of broadcasting more minority sports, i have not noticed that much difference, which is a good thing, who wants to listen to tiddlewinks, when you can listen to non stop football, absolute no brainer, well done to 5live on standing up to the Trust!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't think you can judge what will be on the station until the contracts run out and these minority things start appearing.

  • Comment number 7.

    Its not like the various Football contracts only have a year left is it, so there is no logic to your argument. My perception of events was that the Trust were asking for more minority sports to be given primetime slots, instead of the football, so for example buy the rights to tiddlewinks stick that on a weekday at 7pm on 5live, and if there is any football, stick it on sports extra.

  • Comment number 8.

    No sure about tiddlywinks but I was thinking of stuff like badminton, hockey, netball, darts...... you see they are all hugely popular and lots play them but they are mostly ignored by coverage and are probably deemed to be minority sports. If a radio commentator can babble a tennis rally then why not?

  • Comment number 9.

    Stick Darts on the Radio, you would probarly get 20 listeners.

    The BBCs Head of Olympics, Roger Mosey has even said after each Olympics, interest for Minority sports plummets drastically, is it really proportionate buying Hockey rights, when you will only get a few thousand listening,yes the BBC should not be chasing ratings but sending presenters,commentators,editors etc etc to broadcast live hockey to a few thousand people is a waste of money.

    Stick with Football,5live!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Today's phone -in.. What does Andy Murray have to do to win Wimbledon?

    Beat the opponent. Simple.

  • Comment number 11.

    Great post zelds.

    Seriously though, is everyone sick of hearing about this, and now we have Terry having coverage as if he has murdered someone. Despite the fact there is big financial stuff, we have to have so much sport rammed down the throats, where is the NEWS on this blog site?

  • Comment number 12.

    My local BBC radio station covers the speedway meetings and although not being the biggest fan of the sport, I have to say that the coverage is first class and has even prompted me to pay a visit to the tracks.Well done on that score and the programmes and interest it has generated has gone a long way in making it more popular.I can't fault the coverage of the local cricket as well.Just proves that the BBC doesn't have to be over reliant on wall to wall football and can expand into other areas.Coverage of minority sports can make a biggest difference.

  • Comment number 13.

    Although I don't live in London I have found myself tuning into LBC just to get away from the OTT sport on 5live and find some actual news about real important issues that affect us all and we should know about in more detail.

  • Comment number 14.

    Blinkie, the difference between local Radio covering minority Sports compared to National Radio is local Radio have less listeners to appease, and if a City is Ice Hockey Mad, then obviously Ice Hockey will work on local Radio, really you cannot compare the 2.

  • Comment number 15.

    I would also welcome more coverage of Rugby League and Premiership Rugby Union on 5live.That is what the BBC should be focussing on, the BBC and 5live needs to get away from this ratings obsession and give other sports a chance.Well done the BBC Trust for giving the green light for change at 5live.Some of us are getting a little tired of the same overpaid and over hyped Premiership football.

  • Comment number 16.

    Lets put it this way,

    Put live Snooker on the Radio, it will be like 5live are broadcasting a Funeral.

    Put live Darts on the Radio, people will fall asleep a minute in, Carrie, Tennis is not Darts,at least with Tennis we can hear the grunts of the players, we can hear the Ball hitting the racket, with Darts all you can hear is rowdy people egging on their idols, to throw a Dart at a board......intriguing....... yeah right!

    Rugby league and union works, however 5live broadcast enough balready imo.

    Netballl!!!! You have got to be joking?

  • Comment number 17.

    Netball.....what a good idea and basketball as well on the radio.The sports 5live could turn there attention too is endless.You never know the outcome unless you try.I used to throw a few arrows myself, once against John Lowe, so darts would interest me.Marvellous stuff.

  • Comment number 18.

    Well Blinkie lets go all the way and get 5live to broadcast live Bowls at peaktime, i can imagine hundreds of thousands of listeners will be rushing to their radio, to hear............... silence.

  • Comment number 19.

    Compared to the shouty OTT football commentaries on 5live of late,the clacking of balls on crown greens around the country might well be the preferred option to many listeners.Looking forward to hearing bowls ( this most popular and participated in sport ) coming to 5live very soon.

  • Comment number 20.

    I wasn't being totally serious Fed, but those sports do have a wide support so you shouldn't be dismissive. If the BBC is to cater for everyone then rowing, cycling, netball, hockey, basketball etc are jolly good ideas.

    I love @18!

    Couldn't the 5 Live consider an evening every week of these sports which have a wide popularity but are never usually covered? Now that would be public service.

    I agree about more Rugby Union and League. What has happened to Simon Bretherton who usually covers the Tour de France?

  • Comment number 21.

    Well said carrie.If the British Open golf gets 4 days of continuous silence interrupted only by whispering commentators who you can't make out what they are saying, on 5live, then to my mind any other sport is up for grabs.

  • Comment number 22.

    Binkie I think you do the 5live Open golf coverage an injustice.Although there well may be 4 days of complete silence interspersed with whispering commentator , you have forgotten to mention the obligatory cry of ' get in the hole.....'.

  • Comment number 23.

    Front page of the 5 live site thingy

    //The Tuffers & Vaughan Cricket Show // Tuffers? Who the hell is that headline aimed at? 3 year olds? If we can't have any news blogs please aim a bit higher with your sports ones.

  • Comment number 24.

    Zeld....on the sporting front the 5live main aim is to obviously court the ' matey / blokey ' demographic.

  • Comment number 25.

    Msg 24

    Aaaahhhhh..... the more 'dumbed down' contingent?

  • Comment number 26.

    Carrie usually in the years when there is a World Cup or Euros Simon Brotherton just covers the second half of the the tour and as has been the case this year Peter Slater does he first half.

    Thanks for the boxing news Fedster, I was wondering why it wasn't mentioned in the schedules. At least Five Live have the Amir Khan fight with Dave Farrar commentating.

    I will stand up for the golf coverage, the Open Golf and the Ryder Cup are both events that are coverage excellently and is Five Live Sport at its finest.

  • Comment number 27.

    ooooooh.... aaaah.....get in the hole.....whispering commentators...thats about the best we can hope for as regards the golf but nevermind the thing that concerns me is how on earth we all managed to cope without being told every five minutes on 5live what various people have been saying on twitter.

    '....and so and so has just tweeted......' honestly we aren't that much bothered what little gems these narcissistic types feel compelled to bore the pants off everyone else with.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'd also like to complement FiveLive's coverage of the Open. I'm no big golf fan but it's an excellent listen when Ian Carter or John Inverdale are presenting.
    So please don't change this and put a 'personality' like Chris Evans on the coverage. I'm sure they'll find some way of crowbarring Helen Skelton in proceedings for no apparent reason!

  • Comment number 29.

    Why was Tony Livesey's programme so awful last night? Text in about cheese? For heavens sake.

  • Comment number 30.

    Pun after pun, night after night. Lightweight and puerile.

  • Comment number 31.

    I was only flicking through the channels trying to find something worth listening to. I didn't linger on 5live, I never do these days.

  • Comment number 32.

    Looking at the BBC press release for the open championship looks like Mark Chapman has the Chris Evans type role.

  • Comment number 33.

    Can we PURLEASE have a blog about something other than the flipping Olympics. They haven't even started yet!

  • Comment number 34.

    I've asked before but what purpose is a webcam in the costly Salford studios's when certain main presenters are hardly ever there or take the trouble to get there and still broadcast from London ? Why are they given special dispensation when they are paid so much money ?

  • Comment number 35.

    Agreed. What's the point in the licence fee payer forking out £1billion to leave Salford nearly always empty, with certain presenters turning up once a week for the gossip.

  • Comment number 36.

    This Salford project must be one of the biggest charades in the history of broadcasting ( particularly as 5live goes ) ....... and they have the nerve to criticise other organisations.

  • Comment number 37.

    The most highly funded LOCAL radio station in the history of broadcasting, I'd wager.

  • Comment number 38.

    Private Eye (and others) called Salford a white elephant before it even opened; and it certainly seems that way with most doing their very best to avoid ever being there.

  • Comment number 39.

    An appearance by some main 5live presenters, in the Salford studio, obviously amounts to just a token gesture.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm not entirely sure whether the fact that the previous 39 comments haven't mentioned once the subject of the blog is a measure of indifference to the number of blogs on the Gold Run or a measure of indifference of the current Five Live output.
    In my case it's both!

  • Comment number 41.

    @ 40 ...... you would think the BBC would get the message wouldn't you?

  • Comment number 42.

    You should have news on this blog too, This blog at the moment is only about sport

  • Comment number 43.

    Saturday: Five Live's output today - Danny Baker apart- has been the abs
    olute pits. If this is the standard we can expect for the next month I can only say thank god for Sky Sports - an Olympic free zone.


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